Kayvon Thibodeaux
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Kayvon Thibodeaux has arrived.

Sunday’s critical win over the Commanders was the Giants pass rusher’s breakthrough performance. The No. 5 pick has 12 combined tackles and a strip-sack he recovered for a touchdown. He looked, dare we say, Lawrence Taylorish. And it’s about time this franchise found a player like him.

The Giants’ defense has boasted strong secondary players (James Bradberry, Landon Collins, Logan Ryan) in recent seasons. They have also been strong up front (Dexter Lawrence, Dalvin Tomlinson, Leonard Williams). But they have lacked a consistent presence on the edge, the premier pass rusher that creates nightmare matchups for opposing offenses.

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There have been flashes in the pan, like Markus Golden’s 10 sacks in 2019. Williams also had an 11.5-sack season in 2020. And Olivier Vernon had his moments. But the Giants have been wanting more since Jason Pierre-Paul’s glory days. Thibodeaux appears to be the guy they have yearned for.

Thibodeaux has the athleticism, burst and strength to make plays all over the field. Rushing the passer is critical in a league dominated by the pass. The Giants’ inability to do so is one of the many reasons they have been wandering in the wilderness for so long. Giants general manager Joe Schoen made a significant decision on draft night to try and fix that glaring hole. Eight months later, with the season at stake, Thibodeaux proved he was worth that investment.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.